of course touched so many people around the world, including here at home and president obama, who not long ago spoke about the profound effect mandela had on his own life. >> we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. he no longer belongs to us. he belongs to the ages. >> and we want to show you a picture now. president obama then 19 years old, a college student, protesting apartheid on campus. he said that was the moment that mandela, quote, gave him a sense of what is possible in this world. sending a jolt of electricity through his homeland but also this nation, america, founded on equality for all. abc's byron pitts now on what mandela meant to the united states. >> reporter: just four months after he was set free from prison in 1990, nelson mandela set foot in america for the very first time. an 8 city tour starting in new york. it was magical. it was as if malcolm and martin were still alive and the nets had won the world series all in new york all in one day. mandela spoke at yankee stadium.